Our Favorite Christmas Cookie 

Today was the day! Cookie day at the Brouwer house!

Our favorite cookies to make are the roll-out, cut-out, frost, sprinkle, devour kind…. you know the ones.😉

Luckily, I have simple recipe with a quick frost method that makes these little treats champs (not chores). The final product is a soft and chewy, buttery cookie with frosting that hardens so they are not messy to eat and easy to store!

.
Kristy’s Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

Makes 45 frosted cookies

Preheat oven to 400°F

.
Whisk until fluffy:

1 cup butter, very soft (NO SUBSTITUTES)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla 

1 tsp almond extract 

.
In a seperate bowl mix together:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

.
Slowly add dry mix into butter mix and stir until completely combined.  Cover bowl and put in fridge for 2 hours.

Roll out chilled dough on floured countertop, approximately 1/4″ thick and cut desired shapes.

These cookies don’t really rise or spread much, so just roll them to your preferred thickness.

Line a room temperature baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cut-outs 1″ apart on baking sheet.

The baking sheet MUST be cooled back to room temperature before placing any cut-outs. This will ensure cookies remain in the desired shape and stay soft throughout. Also, do not grease your baking sheet or parchment. 

Bake at 400°F for 4 minutes (convection ovens) or 4-5 minutes (standard ovens). Cool cookies completely on wire racks.

Don’t forget to cool your baking sheet on a seperate wire rack too!

.
For the frosting, whisk together:

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, MUST be sifted

6 Tbsp milk

3 Tbsp light corn syrup 

1 tsp almond extract 

.
Seperate frosting into 4 or 5 flat bottomed bowls. Stir in desired food colorings. 

A little goes a long way with this frosting. It should be slightly thinner than honey but should still be sticky and glossy. If your frosting is too stiff, add 1/2 tsp of milk at a time to achieve proper consistency. 

Line countertop with parchment paper and place wire racks on top of paper. 

Lining will protect your counter from frosting run-off that will soon be coming from the post-frosted cookies as they dry.

To frost, simply drop the cookie top-side facedown into the frosting bowl. Quickly pick up the cookie and allow the excess frosting to drip off back into frosting bowl. Place frosted cookie on wire rack and top with sprinkles before icing sets.

Let cookies sit for at least 2 hours to set or you can put them in the fridge to speed up this process.

Eat! Enjoy!

Star Student

Drew is Star Student today in Ms Jen’s class and he is so excited! This week’s theme at school includes the letter H, the number 4 and Pumpkins. We decided to incorporate all three into today’s snack!

Jack-o-Clementines with peanut butter and honey waffle sandwiches. Yummo! The Hs can be turned into 4s if you know how to snack on them *just* right. 😉 Daddy even found the fun straws for all kids’ water bottles too. 

image

image

Cheese-Crusted Pork with Arugula Salad

Finally, Chef Drew has posted his pork chop recipe. He said he hopes you love it and much as he loves making it!

image

image

image

 

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

3/4 cup shredded Three Cheese Blend (Parmesean, Romano and Asaigo) 

Coarse salt and pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 boneless pork loin chops (1 pound total)

2 tablespoons fresh sqeezed lemon juice (do not use bottled lemon juice)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 ounces baby arugula

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

 

In a shallow dish, combine panko, cheese, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow dishes. Season pork with salt and pepper. Coat pork in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg, then coat with panko mixture, pressing to adhere.

Bake pork on rack (I use a cookie cooling rack place atop a cookie sheet), without turning, until opaque throughout, 35 – 45 minutes at 400F.

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Keep in fridge until ready to serve. Re-whisk and then add arugula, onion and tomatoes; toss. Top pork with salad; serve immediately.

image

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

Drew was chosen to be the “Star Student” at school tomorrow. He gets to bring in a toy for show-n-tell and also the morning snack. He decided he wanted to bring butterfly snacks.

Did you know a grouping of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope? Well, now you do and that is exactly what is on my counter! 🙂

image

image

The butterflies were made using:
Snack-sized bag
clothes pin
1/3c cut grapes
1/3c cheddar bunnies
Eye stickers
1/2 pipe cleaner

I put a full twist in the middle of the bag to separate the moisture of the grapes from the bunnies. And finally, Drew insisted they have smiley faces. 🙂